By Jennifer Hahn, CBS News Travel WriterThe city of Algiers has been in the news for years for the death of its famed cathedral, which was demolished in a civil war in the 1970s.
Now, Algier has become the destination for a new tourism campaign.
“Morocco has always been a place that I have always wanted to visit,” said Lauren Zalman, who visited the country with her husband, Tom.
“I think the country has really taken off since the Civil War, so it’s definitely a place where I feel like we can really go to.”
Zalman and her husband spent nearly a week in Morocco, visiting the country’s iconic old towns, the Grand Mosque, the historic Algiras, the famous Boudouin Museum, the national parks, and the archaeological sites.
“When we were planning to visit Algim, we thought it was going to be really fun and exciting, and then we realized we would be spending three days in a country that has never been visited by tourists,” Zalmansaid.
“We were like, ‘Oh my god, we’re going to lose all of our time.'”
But the real adventure started when Tom went to the famous archaeological site of Boudoulon, which has been on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites for more than a decade.
“I was so excited to see the museum, it was the best experience I’ve ever had,” he said.
“It’s just a stunning place, and a really, really unique site that really hasn’t been seen before.
We went to see it, and it was just amazing.”
When Zalmen returned home to Pennsylvania in 2014, the Zalams decided to start a new trip, this time in Algis, a small town in the Moroccan Alps.
They planned to visit the city and its beautiful gardens, but they also wanted to see what it was like as an Algian, especially after traveling in Europe and the U.S.
“We love Morocco, but it’s hard to get a hold of things, and this is a great place to start our exploration,” Tom Zalmann said.
“Our goal was to see everything we could go and experience, and we were really impressed by the beautiful places in Alges.”
“We didn’t really want to take a lot of time off of work,” Tom added.
“But we did want to explore.
We knew we wanted to go on a family vacation and go to Morocco and have some fun.”
The Zalam family is no strangers to travel.
In fact, they have visited all 50 states and the District of Columbia and spent time in several other countries.
“It’s been a great experience, but I know that a lot can change,” Tom said.
But he and Lauren said they were prepared to take that extra step to travel in Morocco.
“There are a lot more things that can change in the world, and our focus is just getting the best trip that we can, because we love this country so much,” Tom told CBS News.
But they said they’re prepared for what they might encounter if they do make it.
“This is a very diverse country and it’s a very different culture, and I think people will be really surprised,” Lauren said.
She said that the tourist board will provide advice on the best route to visit each area, and that they will be given the option to make reservations.
“My parents and I plan to go to the Grand Hotel Algid, and my mom has said that she wants to go and visit some of the most beautiful places,” Tom continued.
“This is our goal, and you have to believe in yourself to do this.”
For more information on Algias, visit tourism.gov.